There have been a couple new, somewhat odd developments in the story I posted last night about TNA wrestler Jesse Neal and his girlfriend, independent wrestler Christina Von Eerie, tweeting about finding out they had qualified for SNAP benefits, colloquially known as food stamps.
TNA fan site TNAsylum posted this item late last night:
Jesse Neal Responds To Rumors
A wrestling website started a rumor that TNA star Jesse Neal was on food stamps. Neal tweeted about the rumors on his twitter page
Ok guys u all r badasses, I am not on food stamps my girl just got them to help, she lost her job due to sexual harassment.
For all the haters ur real cute but none of u would ever say that around me, TNA is taking care of me I'm injuried not leaving!
Put that it ur blogs!!!
First of all, obviously the original story was not made up, but taken from Neal's Twitter account, where the original tweets remain celebrating that "we" (ostensibly himself and Von Eerie in context) qualified for food stamps. Second, when I went to check Neal's Twitter timeline right after being made aware of the TNAsylum post, while the second ("For all the haters...") and third ("Put that...") tweets mentioned were there, there was no sign of the first one ("Ok guys..."). When I Googled the content of the first tweet, I only found a handful of message board posts referencing TNAsylum and no direct links to where it would have been if it was deleted.
Where I've seen it come up, most of the message board posters questioned TNAsylum's credibility, with some outright saying they've made stories up in the past. Even if Neal really did post that first tweet, it was absolutely untrue that any wrestling websites made up the story, so I guess that counts as them making something up now. I've only seen one person claim that he or she saw the message on Twitter, with others then questioning the poster's credibility because there was no cached copy on Google, direct link to the tweet, screen capture, or anything like that.
If Neal tweeted the first part, then it was up for about an hour before he deleted it, maybe (much) less. Either way, he continued to effectively confirm the story he broke himself with another tweet today, this time in response to former TNA wrestler Stevie Richards (real name Michael Manna, he used TwitLonger to go past Twitter's 140 character limit and you can see the whole tweet by clicking the link at the end, but you can get the gist from what shows up here):
Even though @thejesseneal should have omitted the food stamp tweet, TNA doesn't pay a living wage to many deserving... http://tl.gd/b4nkg7
@MichaelManna I know I shouldve, I'm alittle to honest sometimes. Hope all is well.
So...yeah. Based on what's actually on Neal's Twitter page, there is no conclusion that can be driven other than the obvious, which is that he and Von Eerie applied for SNAP benefits together. Neal's tweets from last night could very well be further references to rumors that had circulated about him leaving TNA, which he denied earlier in the day. If by some chance that "Ok guys u all r badasses, I am not on food stamps my girl just got them to help, she lost her job due to sexual harassment." tweet did go up and Neal deleted it, maybe it was to get rid of the sexual harrassment reference due to some sort of impending legal action? That said, right now there's no proof other than a report from a site with a sketchy record that got something else completely wrong.
Also, to make things more clear in case Neal did tweet that: I've seen very few people say anything negative about Neal and Von Eerie applying for SNAP, and none in a news context, just a handful of blog commenters and forum posters. The vast, vast majority of mentions of his tweets sympathized with them and criticized TNA. There were some comments from people questioning if it was worth wrestling for TNA with no day job, and there's arguably some substance to it, but even then, people saying stuff like that were sympathetic. Generally speaking, no "haters" of Neal, just people who were concerned for him and appalled by the idea that TNA isn't paying a living wage.
I've tweeted Neal to ask if the tweet where he said that just Von Eerie individually qualified for SNAP was legitimate and will update this post if he replies.